The STEKA Family
STEKA was established in 2007 when Godknows and friends walked across 1000 kms from Blantyre to Muzuzu to raise awareness of the needs of street children. Felix (a friend of STEKA) then raised money to enable the development of the first STEKA home. This was replaced by a new STEKA home developed and funded by the Scottish charity Kenyawi Kids and Dr Kevin Mortimer of The London School of Tropical Medicine.
STEKA isn’t an ‘orphanage’, it’s not an institution, it's a loving family. Children are brought by Social Services or the police for safety and care. Once Godknows and Helen know they are staying for good, they make sure that all the children who don’t know their biological parents adopt their surname Maseko and call them Mum and Dad. For children who are still in contact with their biological parents Godknows and Helen are an Auntie and Uncle.
The STEKA family works together to support each other by helping with chores and following rotas for cooking, cleaning or washing. The older children assist Helen and Godknows with the babies and young children that come to the home. Feeding, clothing and educating such a large family isn’t easy, but the resourceful STEKA family runs a variety of enterprises to bring in funds. Helen is Montessori trained and with the assistance of volunteers she runs a nursery school every morning. They also raise chickens and run tailoring, upholstery and tourism initiatives to help sustain their STEKA home. A key part of this is making school (and other) uniforms. The children are brought up to value their rights and themselves; in particular girls’ rights to equality and to resist early marriage. The STEKA Centre for Vocational Skills and Community Enterprise will be developed and run according to the same STEKA ethos and will benefit from Godknows and Helen’s knowledge, contacts and reputation. They have also been asked to establish and run parenting workshops so that other instituions (and families) can benefit from their parenting model.